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5 Healthy Habits I’m Taking With Me After This Pandemic Is Over

The pandemic undoubtedly marred these past few years of our lives. But it also encouraged the normalization of many healthy behaviors from washing your hands more frequently to showing appreciation to essential workers.

As easy as it is to focus on the negative, it’s important to be hopeful and to look forward to a future that’s free from COVID’s effects. While some of the pandemic habits, like social distancing, will be left behind when we emerge from this pandemic, these are five that I think are going to stick around, at least for me:

Bringing hand sanitizer everywhere

COVID scares have gotten me into the habit of bringing hand sanitizer everywhere, and it’s certainly a habit I’ll keep up even if there isn’t an infectious disease threatening to ruin our lives. I’ve become more self-conscious about what germs I’m encountering on the day-to-day. Did you know that your phone has so much bacteria on it that it’s actually filthier than a toilet? Gross, right? I don’t know about you, but I’ll be taking my Purell hand sanitizer keychain everywhere I go.

Supporting small businesses

The periodic lockdowns have made things hard for businesses, especially small businesses. During the past two years, I found myself supporting them in little ways, from ordering cute gifts on Etsy to buying coffee from family-owned coffee shops. I think it’s important to support independent artists and small businesses, and there’s a certain charm to them that always leaves me satisfied. Do some good for yourself and for those around you by treating yourself to a latte from your local coffeehouse.

Resting my body

Despite my best efforts at avoiding the disease, I too fell victim to Omicron, a milder but more infectious strain of COVID-19. While I was dealing with fatigue and aches, I realized how important it is to allow my body to rest. But rest isn’t just for when you’re sick. Giving myself time to relax and getting enough sleep is key to me working at my full potential, and this is something I hope to get better at.

Taking time for myself

It’s also as important to rest your mind. Take that mental health day or opt to stay in for the night. Even if you’re an extrovert like me, it’s important to just spend time alone. The pandemic forced me to be alone, but it was during those times I was able to focus on myself, work on creative projects and self-reflect. The pandemic compelled me to reckon with the importance of investing in myself, and I intend to find a better balance between my social life and my personal life.

Staying informed on health news

COVID-19 has been the subject of so many headlines. While I’m starting to get sick of reading articles about it and while I do need to be careful about doomscrolling, I still think it’s important to stay informed on key issues and topics regarding health. That way, I can make the best decisions for myself! Being informed about COVID is what influenced my decisions to get the vaccines and to practice safe habits like masking up when I’m in public.

While the pandemic has been a mess for all of us, I’m grateful that it has taught us to develop some better habits. I’m hoping that by adopting the right lifestyle changes we can all emerge from this experience stronger, healthier and kinder.

Louise is a junior double majoring in English and Economics. She loves reading contemporary fiction and making Spotify playlists.